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SuperBob, Ford Senior Master, Mazda Senior
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 2609
Experience:  18 years Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda Dealer ASE master, diesel certified. Specialize electrical
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2004 F150: liter..V8..the rear end at low speeds, around 10 to 20 mph

Customer Question

I have a 2004 F150 4X4 5.6 liter V8. There is a very distinct clicking noise coming from the rear end at low speeds, around 10 to 20 mph. I have noticed that it is not there all the time but it is getting mor frequent. I am not sure if it is a bad u-joint or something within the axel itself like the spider gears or something of that nature.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.
Does it happen when the vehicle is driving in a straight line, or does it seem to happen as the vehicle is making even the slightest of turns?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No, when I first noticed it about 2 days ago I was in construction traffic on the freeway and I think the only way I heard it in the first place is the echo off the k-rail (construction retaining wall) but now it seems to be getting louder and hear it when I am at slow speeds. at high speeds over 30 mph drives like a dream, I barley hear it over 20 mph. really loud under 15

Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.
Do you notice any type of shudder or vibration in the steering wheel or seat while you are braking lightly? And does the noise change while you are braking?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No not at all, there is no vibration or shudder, new brakes on rear and new brakes and rotors on front approx 6 to 8 months ago.I just had new tires put on about 4 to 6 weeks ago and someone told me they may have forgotten to tighten the lugs. Is that a possibility


Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.

Alot of shops will when installing wheels, will tighten them lightly with an impact gun and then lower the vehicle to the ground and then torque the lug nuts with a torque wrench! Sometimes a tech will get pulled off a job and then come back to it and forget the last step of torquing the nuts, it is always a good idea to regularly check them for yourself! Also if the technician does not have a torque wrench, he will use an impact gun to fully tighten the lugs and this can cause the torque on each nut to vary in tightness from 150 to 300 foot pounds of torque, the specification on your truck is about 120 foot pounds! Over tightening lugs in this manner can cause the new rotors to warp, and warped rotors will cause the brake pads to oscillate in and out as the warped rotor passes over the pads, this can cause a noise like you described as well! You should also check the u-joints, park the truck on a level surface, chalk the tires, set the parking brake, and place the transmission shifter in neutral with the engine off, get down under the truck and at both ends of the driveshaft you will want to grasp the rear axle input flange with one hand and the drive shaft with the other and twist it in opposite directions to see if there is any movement in the u-joint, also lift it up and down and side to side, then go to the front of the driveshaft and check that u-joint in the same manner! If you cannot find a problem in the driveshaft, you may need to place the axle on jack stands securely and then run the vehicle up to speed while you can get under it on a creeper to isolate where the noise is coming from! You must be careful of the rotating driveshaft and tires as if you get too close the them on a creeper it will launch you out like a rocket! Safety first!

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX try that out.
Expert:  SuperBob replied 5 years ago.
Ok, good luck!